Mark Schmitt, PhD, to serve as interim vice president for research

Mark Schmitt, PhD, has been named Interim Vice President for Research and Interim Research Foundation Operations Manager. The appointment, effective July 2, was announced by Upstate Medical University President and Health System CEO Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP.

Schmitt will assume the posts previously held by David Amberg, PhD, on a temporary basis. Amberg who currently serves as Interim President of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The SUNY Board of Trustees announced Amberg’s appointment as ESF’s interim president last month.

Schmitt will continue to serve as Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and as a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

“I am grateful for Dr. Schmitt’s service as interim Vice President for Research and Interim Research Foundation Operations Manager,” said Laraque-Arena. “His work at Upstate has always had a focus on research and he will continue to move us forward in this area, while Dr. Amberg serves SUNY ESF as interim president.”

Schmitt earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell in 1985 and a doctorate from Dartmouth Medical School in 1991. Schmitt joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1994, following a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford, was named full professor in 2010 and Dean of the College in 2013. He has served as a faculty member in various programs, such as Biomedical Sciences, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Structural Biology and Biochemistry and Biophysics, and directed Upstate’s popular Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. Schmitt serves on the University Executive Committee.

Schmitt’s externally funded research has focused on the biogenesis and structure of the RNase Mitochondrial RNA Processing (MRP) ribonucleoprotein complex, the control of the cell cycle by ribonucleases, and mitochondrial RNA import.  He has trained a number of Masters, PhD and postdoctoral students, along with undergraduates in his laboratory.

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